Never Kill Chickens Before Showering…

shutterstock_244216792Right. So… here’s the thing…

I must preface this post with an apology in advance to any of my fellow bloggers, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram followers if my comments over the next 4-6 weeks read like really bad e e cummings.*

Mother Hen is currently suffering from a number of awkward maladies, not least of which is dire humiliation coupled with some fairly profound feelings of frustration on account of this simple fact:

I am currently typing either one-handed, or using some whizzy Apple voice recognition gizmo that gets my words right about 75% of the time.

Please, my dear friends, step with me into the way-back machine and let’s just rewind to Wednesday morning, roughly 8 AM. As is common in England this time of year, it was another morning shrouded in a thick, autumnal fog that refused to lift the entire day.wayback machine

When I went to feed the chickens, it was evident that world war three was continuing to rage amongst the cockerels. Apart from my three older roosters, I also had five junior cockerels just starting to come of age. In the past week, my 13 hens had laid precisely one egg on account of all the stress. I emptied the last of a brand-new bag of feed into the feeder, and then decided it was time to go on the warpath.

Hey, I love my chickens, but I am not running a charity here! Feed ain’t cheap, and these birds have work to do: Either lay eggs, and find yourself in the stew pot.

Oh sure, I had a pretty full schedule that day. Nevertheless, not being the sort of girl to waste a lot of time um-ming and ah-ing over tough decisions, I decided there was no time like the present to get things sorted. I went inside has put on my grubbiest clothes and a pair of rubber gloves, then sharpened the edge of my meat cleaver until it sung like a samurai sword…

(yeah, my cleaver was just as sharp as this. But the scene in my kitchen was way less romantic.)

I reasoned that surely there was no need to shower, brush my teeth, comb my hair or put on any makeup before all this dirty work was over. After all, chickens don’t talk and no one was EVER meant to see me!

Armed for battle, I returned to the chicken run.

I dispatched with three young cockerels in swift, painless order. But by the time I got to the fourth young rooster, a large white bird, I was getting tired. My first stroke took him out, but the second stroke went awry when he started to flail. (Anyone who has ever killed a chicken knows that they are dead long before they stop moving.) I felt the sting of the strike, but the pain didn’t really hit me straight away.


Me on my way to the ER.

I looked at my glove. There was a 2 inch slice down the side of my left index finger, but any blood was not yet visible. Once I got inside and peeled the glove off, I knew that it was going to be bad. I rang my daughter and then nearly passed out. Somehow, in the five minutes it took her to get to my house, I had the wherewithal to clean up a crime scene in the front garden. (I can only imagine what my postman would have thought if he stumbled across a bloody cleaver…)

My lovely, fresh chickens have unfortunately been thrown onto the burn pile. What a waste!

I somehow managed to cleave into my left index finger at an oblique angle on my proximal phalange, neatly severing the extensor tendon and bruising the nerve, but somehow managing to spare the bone. Truthfully, had I struck from a slightly different angle, I would have amputated one or more fingers…

2015-11-06 16.41.02_wmNow, you might suppose cleaving your finger open and going to hospital to have it repaired by a hand specialist would be traumatic enough. But can I just say for the record that having to hang out at the hospital all day long waiting for my surgery with dirty, unwashed hair, grubby clothes that smelled like blood and chicken poop, and sans make up is easily ranked amongst the worst experiences of my life – oh, and don’t even get me started on the unbrushed teeth!

Thank you, Haley, my fellow day surgery patient who kindly leant me her toothpaste and baby wipes! You wouldn’t believe how shocked she was when I gave her one of my Mother Hen Diaries cards. She looked from me to my photo and back again. Her mouth dropped open. “This is you?” She asked, clearly shocked.

Sheesh… When I tell you I looked really bad, clearly this is no exaggeration!

Hey, you know you’re pretty desperate when a whore’s bath in a hospital toilet marks a vast improvement in your circumstance!


The humble spork: My new best friend.

I am pretty sure there is a moral lesson here somewhere. But frankly, after having to suffer to the ignominy of A. admitting how unbelievably stupid I was and B. now being unable to drive for many weeks, unable to hook or unhook my own bra, wash my own hair or even open my own bottle of wine, whatever lesson there is to be learned here, I think I have learnt it.

And for the record, HH has banned me from the use of all metal implements ad infinitum. I have been reduced to plastic cutlery.

Mother Hen

© motherhendiaries 2015, all rights reserved.

  • Feature photo: shutterstock
  • wayback machine:
  • Bodyguard clip: YouTube
  • sea troll: nerdy

*Transcendental Poet/Author. American.  Used no capital letters and often ignored rules of grammar. It should be noted that just because I know who he is, it does not mean I like his work. Just sayin’.

32 replies »

  1. I am glad you were able to write with such humour about this horrid episode. I can only imagine how painful and gruesome your injury was. I am glad you had someone nearby to get you to hospital right away.

    I chuckled about your feeling humiliated by your personal hygiene when your fingers was almost chopped off. It reminded me of when I went into premature labour with one of my sons and my midwife was shouting at me to get out of the shower because the ambulance was almost at my house. I was refusing to get out of the shower because I needed to shave my legs. She told me nobody cared about my leg stubble and ordered me out of the shower. Maybe it’s a self-protection mechanism: our brains wander and focus on the things we might have had some control over but didn’t to distract ourselves from the chaos and angst caused by things we had no control over.

    I hope you are fully mended and operational again soon.


    • “Maybe it’s a self-protection mechanism: our brains wander and focus on the things we might have had some control over but didn’t to distract ourselves from the chaos and angst caused by things we had no control over.”

      You’ve got it in one my dear! I have not thought of it that way, but I reckon you may be right. The injury was truly horrid, no question about that. And my daughter has been an absolute angel. I do not know what I would’ve done without her these past few days…

      Liked by 1 person

  2. “A whore’s bath in a hospital toilet” is going to stick with me a long time. Long time. Mercy! First, I’m so glad it wasn’t much, much worse. Second, it has been my experience that I have never had an emergency when I looked Friday Night Date-worthy. Nevuh evuh. And you would think we’d learn that lesson for the next time, but we won’t. That’s not reality. lol How can you even look at that cleaver?! I wish you patience while you heal, because you know it won’t be a speedy recovery. The event is horrific, but the telling is laugh out loud funny. Two words. Liquid Lunch, and I don’t mean Boost. Ha!! Cheers.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Pahaha!!! Your comment was laugh out loud funny, Elen! And you are quite right – I know me, and lessons never learn that easily. The very prospect of getting date night worthy with one operable arm at the minute is an impossibility. Total. Just goes to show what a vain bird I am, I guess. But this vain bird is currently sipping a g&t in lieu of pain meds. So that’s something, anyway…

      Liked by 1 person

  3. That’s a terrible ordeal written so well to have us in splits and then feel guilty about laughing at your pain! I hope you get well really fast. Till then stay away from the cockerels and chicks 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh my!!!!!!! I’ve done several numbers on my fingers before (the worst offender was the lid on a can of corn…….never try and wiggle it opener. Go buy a new can opener) but none have resulted in an ER trip! Glad you are keeping the fingers, I’ve been missing your posts, life is crazy! So, it’s nice to hear you cluck a little, get well soon! 😀


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